Alone

"Very Good"

Alone Review


If you thought sibling rivalry was bad, imagine how nasty a fight would be with your brother or sister attached to your body.

The Thai film Alone puts you in the shoes of Pim (Masha Wattanapanich), the sole survivor of a separation surgery between her and her Siamese twin, Ploy. Feeling responsible for Ploy's death, Pim has since moved to Korea with her boyfriend to escape her guilt. But when she returns to Thailand to visit her dying mother, she's shocked to find her twin is still beside her in the form of a ghost.

Alone is the second collaborative film by directors Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom (whose first project together was the original Shutter, which was later remade in the U.S.). It's clear the directors have a knack for visuals: The composition of Alone is dark and gritty with minimal CGI, conducive to a frighteningly chilly atmosphere. There are several artistic images -- motifs, if you will -- of objects being cut in half to allude to the twins' separation, perhaps suggesting something isn't over between them.

The most powerful images by far are those of the ghost. Pim is quite an attractive woman, but Ploy isn't looking so hot: As a ghost, she's a rotten corpse with pupil-less eyes, blue skin, and brown teeth -- literally, looks that can kill. Ploy isn't interested in talking things over, either; she's bent on tormenting sis to death. This horrific ghost will appear lying down next to her sister in bed; she'll hang herself from the blades of ceiling fans and hover above Pim; she'll even try to drown her sister in the bathtub. What's Ploy so pissed off about to want to stick around, anyhow?

You'll constantly be asking this question while watching Alone. Maybe Ploy was always jealous of Pim for being the "prettier" twin? Or perhaps Pim wore Ploy's shoes one day without her permission? You won't find out why until the very end. It's a clever trick to reel you into the film, and fortunately the answer is worth the wait.

Without spoiling the movie, I will say Alone occasionally weaves in and out of flashback to tell us the story of the twins' childhood -- up to the point where they come under the knife. The film takes an unorthodox approach to a character profile, since we're dealing with two people sharing one body. It's an unusual and somewhat plausible exploration of psychology.

Though Pisanthanakun and Wongpoom are talented with the camera, they slightly overdo it with the visuals. The majority of the film consists of Ploy scaring the bejeezus out of Pim whenever she's alone; at some point, you'll wonder if the directors kept adding Ploy-scares-Pim scenes just so they could hit the 90-minute runtime. Also, the recurring motif of objects split in half and lines like "You scared me half to death!" get cheesy. In one scene where Pim is looking in the mirror, Ploy is in the reflection and bangs on the mirror with her fists, causing Pim to fall down the stairs. Scenes like this will more likely make you giggle than shiver.

Don't get me wrong -- there's plenty of spook in Alone to get your money's worth. You'll definitely want some company should you watch this movie -- for the first 40 minutes, at least, before the ghost starts to bore you like a live musician who keeps doing encores.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th November 2008

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom

Producer: Mingmonkul Sonakul, 'Aoy' Atchara Takaew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.